Letter to Indian Minister of Home Affairs
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) sent a letter to the Indian Minister of Home Affairs, Rajnath Singh, regarding recommendations issued by an Expert Committee on the use of force by police and security forces against protesters in Jammu and Kashmir.
Of particular concern is the proposal that pellet guns will continue to be used in the “rarest of the rare” cases. Our review of medical literature shows that pellet guns should never be used for crowd control.
Pellet guns are inherently indiscriminate, particularly at a distance. Fired at close range, pellets are likely to penetrate the skin in a manner similar to live ammunition, significantly increasing their risk of inflicting severe injury on protesters and bystanders.
PHR encourages the Expert Committee and the Ministry of Home Affairs to recognize the need for police to respect their role as facilitators of freedom of assembly and freedom of expression, while ensuring public safety. In all cases, the most effective method to prevent violence in the context of protests is to engage in negotiations and open a dialogue with protesters.
Read our full letter to see our recommendations to the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs.